Tuesday, November 24, 2009

150th Anniversary Publication Darwin's 'Origin' First Edition

November 24th 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life - a revolutionary work, hastily completed in response to Alfred Russel Wallace's co-discovery of the principle of 'suvival of the fittest'.

If anyone has a copy of the first edition and would care to share, this blogger would tenderly care for it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

From the Unconscious to the Conscious

Here, a quote from:

Gazzaniga MS. (2008) Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-089288-3.

"How the brain drives our thoughts and actions has remained elusive. Among the many unknowns is the great mystery of how a thought moves from the depths of the unconscious to become conscious."

Any thoughts? Through memos?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Interesting View of Science Writing

I thought you might resonate with something science writer, Natalie Angier, wrote in her Introduction to The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston . New York, 2007, isbn-13:978-0-618-24295-5):

"..the time had arrived for writing, the painful process, as the neuroscientist Susan Hockfield so pointedly put it, of transforming three-dimensional, parallel-processed experience into two-dimensional, linear narrative. "It's worse than squaring a circle," she said. "It's squaring a sphere.""

3-D to 2-D. Parallel to linear processing.

Hits the mark, doesn't it?

The Wisdom of Many in One Mind

Herzog SM, Hertwig R. The wisdom of many in one mind: improving individual judgments with dialectical bootstrapping. Psychol Sci 2009;20:231-7.

Abstract: (paragraphed for easier readability)

The "wisdom of crowds" in making judgments about the future or other unknown events is well established. The average quantitative estimate of a group of individuals is consistently more accurate than the typical estimate, and is sometimes even the best estimate.

Although individuals' estimates may be riddled with errors, averaging them boosts accuracy because both systematic and random errors tend to cancel out across individuals.

We propose exploiting the power of averaging to improve estimates generated by a single person by using an approach we call dialectical bootstrapping. Specifically, it should be possible to reduce a person's error by averaging his or her first estimate with a second one that harks back to somewhat different knowledge.

We derive conditions under which dialectical bootstrapping fosters accuracy and provide an empirical demonstration that its benefits go beyond reliability gains. A single mind can thus simulate the wisdom of many

My Comment:

I will try to explain the method in a subsequent post.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Seeking Comments on Draft Version of Article Entitled ''Life''

See Life/Draft on the online 2nd generation Wikipedia, Citizendium. Seeking comments, suggestions, collaborators, etc., on an article I have been developing on the question, "What is Life". Comment here or email me directly (Anthony_Sebastian@msn.com).

Forget to Remember

Jonah Lehrer (Proust Was a Neuroscientist; How We Decide) discusses the virtue of forgetting in a 2007 post on his blog, The Frontal Cortex. Think what you would experience if you remembered every perception, every recollection of every perception and thought. If you think such a non-fadeable photographic mind a consummation devoutly to be wished, read Lehrer's post, and the comments it received.